FINLAND – Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Co. returned 11.6% on its investments last year – boosted by a shift into equities out of fixed income.

“In 2005, the share of equities was increased and that of fixed income investments reduced, which resulted in an increase in investment income,” Varma said in its 2005 report.

Equities returned 29.4%, loans 4.5%, bonds 4.5%, other money-market instruments and deposits 2.0% and real estate 6.0%.

Its assets grew to €24.6bn at year-end. “The year 2005 was successful for Varma,” said president and chief executive Matti Vuoria. “The company performed well in its core operations, investment operations and client acquisition.

“We met the majority of our financial goals, but there are still challenges in the area of efficiency and client services.”

The total result came in at €1.7bn, from €878m in 2004. Premium income rose 6% to €2.8bn. Pensions paid were up 5% at €2.7bn.

“In 2005, the number of portfolio transfers from pension foundations to pension insurance companies was exceptionally high,” Varma added.

Solvency increased significantly by €1.6bn to a record €5.6bn at year-end.

The average yield on investments for five years (2001ˆ2005) was 6.4%, equal to a real income of 5.1%.

Varma stated it “supports measures which aim at improving the efficiency of the earnings-related pension scheme and increasing competition in the field”.

“The efficiency of pension insurance companies in terms of administrative costs should be taken into account better and more clearly in client bonuses.”